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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jerry Friedman Intellectual property (112* d) RE: Intellectual property 26 Sep 98

Ewan, I'd bet 5p that under British law, if Jimmy Kennedy or whoever "owns the copyright" on "The Hokey Cokey" sues you for using the tune, and you find good evidence that the tune is older than his supposed copyright, you'll win the suit.

Of course, if I lose my bet, my 5p won't pay for your legal expenses.

John M., we seem to be talking at cross purposes. Of course it's your decision whether to give people information about songs. According to the law, it's not your decision whether to perform other people's songs in public. (But it is your decision whether to violate the law.)

I'm sorry I missed your joke. If you don't mind a piece of advice--I've found that on the Internet, you have to tell people you're joking if you want them to know. Or you can just imagine they're laughing :-)

If you're disgusted with ASCAP and BMI, why don't you and Bert and Chet start your own songwriters' association and offer whatever fees and terms you think are fair? That way some Seattleite in the network could e-mail Chet when a lounge singer is making big money off one of Chet's songs, and Chet could ask for a fair share, or sue if he wants. Since you like people to sing your songs for free, I guess you'd gain nothing--except giving people an alternative to organizations you despise.

This organization could also maintain evidence on traditional songs to help out people in Ewan's position.

You'd want to make very sure that, if your organization ever becomes powerful, it won't turn into an evil moneygrubber that shuts down open mikes.

Finally, and for the last time, since you tell me you like your odds with Christy Moore, I believe you. I'm sure you know better than I do. But I see a big difference between liking your odds and finding out for sure. Finding out for sure is what the law says you have to do.

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